Election calls for US oil independence a pipe dream
Cutting U.S. foreign oil dependence is a "silly notion for politicians," said Herman Franssen, president of the International Energy Associates, Inc. "It's like saying when you're obese that you should stop importing foreign food," he told a Hudson Institute oil panel earlier this week.
"You need to reduce your dependence on (all) oil," Franssen said. "Not foreign oil. Oil."
Democratic contender John Kerry has explicitly attacked what he says is the Bush administration's too-cozy relationship with Saudi Arabia, which is consistently a top U.S. supplier.
"George W. Bush's energy policy is to trust the big oil companies and the Saudis," Kerry said in prepared remarks in Cincinnati this week. "I want an America that relies on its own ingenuity and innovation, not the Saudi royal family."
Both candidates have called for more conservation, renewable supplies and drilling in some offshore Gulf of Mexico fields. Bush has called for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, which Kerry opposes.
Some polls show that such statements have traction with voters, who saw gasoline prices soar over $2 per gallon this year and crude oil prices flirt with $50 per barrel.
"Never has there been more support for self-reliance than there is today," said pollster Frank Luntz.
An August Luntz poll of 800 potential voters showed that 50 percent of respondents want more renewable energy sources, while only 6 percent want closer U.S.-Saudi ties.
Kerry's Democratic convention remarks that America rely on "innovation, not the Saudi royal family" for energy was "the best statement in the entire convention," Luntz said. The statement had support of 74 percent of poll respondents.